Dutch Reformed Wiki

Franklin Street CRC, Grand Rapids, MI, 1887-1966


Franklin Street CRC was organized in 1887 by members of First CRC. Franklin Street was the sixth Christian Reformed congregation in Grand Rapids.

When the US-131 expressway was built in the early 1960s, much of Franklin Street's neighborhood was removed. The congregation chose to merge with Rogers Heights in 1966.

Historical Details[]


  1. Holland Christian Reformed, 1887-1910
  2. Fifth Avenue, 1910-12
  3. Franklin Street, 1912-66


  • 460 Franklin St. SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49509 (built 1886?, addition 1889, new building 1921)


  1. W. R. Smidt, 1888-1902
  2. W. D. Vander Werp, 1903-06
  3. Lambertus Veltkamp, 1906-18
  4. A. W. De Jonge, 1918-21
  5. B. Essenburg, 1921-25
  6. Henry Baker, 1926-37
  7. J. Gritter, 1938-48
  8. J. H. Piersma, 1949-53
  9. R. H. Haan, 1953-59
  10. H. Sonnema, 1959-63
  11. Jerome M. Julien, 1963-66, pastor of Rogers Heights after merger

Daughter Churches[]

  1. Grandville Avenue, 1891-1994
  2. Grant Street Mission, 1909
  3. Bethel , 1912-1994, cosponsored with Grandville Ave.
  4. Hillcrest Chapel, 1947-92, later sponsored by Kelloggsville and First Hudsonville


Membership Overview[]

Membership data, Franklin Street CRC, Grand Rapids, MI

Membership Data[]

Green (lower) line shows membership in families; blue (middle), professing members; red (top), total members; and magenta (thin), non-professing members. Note effect of constructing the US-131 expressway just blocks away in late 1950s.

Youth ratio, Franklin Street CRC, Grand Rapids, MI

Youth Ratio[]

Red line shows nonprofessing members as a percentage of total membership.

Five year growth rate, Franklin Street CRC, Grand Rapids, MI

Five Year Growth Rate[]

Red line shows five year growth rate. A five year growth rate between 10% and -10% is considered stable; greater than 10% indicates a growing congregation; one below -10% indicates a church in decline. This makes no allowance for daughter churches.

Data source: Yearbooks of the Christian Reformed Church. Dates are year prior to publication date since data is gathered at the end of one year and published in the next.